Born December 23, 1978 Canadian singer-songwriter Jen-Bea Englishman is better known as Esthero.
Esthero was much more than a one-night stand. 1998’s Breath From Another was the catalyst that sparked a love movement in which the years that followed were spent waiting and longing for her return. Esthero was our breath of fresh air. Her voice - often imitated, never duplicated - reached a part of our souls that had previously remained dormant. She was our beacon of light. A sacred blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk, and rock, Esthero became our best-kept secret. Then just like that, she was gone. Thankfully, Esthero was eager to return.
Following the release of Breath From Another, Esthero took time to exhale while her audio disciples held their collective breath. Wikked Lil’ Grrrls is an in-depth look into the core of Esthero. In the past, she was the vocal instrument whose words and music blended into a trance that blanketed her in mystery. Wikked Lil’ Grrrls presents a more soulful, still ethereal woman who has been loved, lost, and liberated through self-discovery. Bratty yet balanced, Esthero takes the reins where many female artists have fallen short in exposing their brazen side. Musically, the LP incorporates the many loves of Esthero, who served as both an Executive Producer and Co-Producer on the album. She is joined by guest producers [Adam 12, Camara Cambon, Spookey Ruben, James Robertson, Track and Field, Sean Lennon and Keith Crouch] with appearances by Shakari Nite, Cee-Lo Green, Jemeni, Jeleestone and Andre 3000* of Outkast.
(* did not appear on the retail version of the album because of a label dispute)
Esthero creates a perfect world where samba meets soul and jazz unites with rock. Her vocals are graciously magnified this time, and accompanied by pianos, horns and basslines. This masterpiece surely sets the standard for the new school fusion of genres. Wikked Lil’ Grrrls reflects an evolved Esthero but still a lyrical genius. Potent yet fragile and haughty yet humble, Wikked Lil’ Grrrls lets us witness the pink pirate as a rebel, friend, daughter, and lover. Esthero is our mystical faerie, who proves that magic is still present in music, love, and life. It’s her boldness and passion that reminds us of what we’ve been missing for so very long. She inhales the purest pleasure and pain from reality and exhales fantasy hymns with which all of life’s emotions are gracefully enhanced.
The Early Years
At the age of sixteen, Esthero moved from small town Harriston, on her own to Toronto, where she began singing at open-mic nights. She was seen singing at the Free Times cafe by manager Beau Ovcaric who set up a showcase for his partner Zack Werner. The two managed her on good faith without any legal paperwork until she turned eighteen. In 1997 they introduced her to EMI Publishing Canada president Michael McCarty, whom she charmed so well during their first meeting that without hearing her sing a single note he set up and paid for recording sessions with Doc, a guitarist and studio engineer. Their debut album, Breath from Another, was released to critical acclaim in 1998.
What’s Happening and What Lies Ahead
In 2007 Esthero left both Warner Music and manager Zack Werner; she is currently represented by Mario Tirado of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). While she is currently without a record deal, she has released a number of demos through her MySpace page, including songs performed with Brandy and miguel pimental. Many of the demos have been produced by State of Emergency.